By Brian Gardner
The European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN) is a prominent conference in the fields of machine learning, computational intelligence and artificial neural networks, and has run since 1993. Every year the conference has been hosted in Bruges, which is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe.
I attended ESANN in April 2014 from the 23rd to the 25th to present my work. Each day, a series of presentations were given by researchers on the latest developments in their fields, with poster displays during the afternoon. Much of the work relevant to my area of research was presented on the first day, but I found the other research topics to be of great interest. I also received very helpful feedback on my work, some from leading researchers in my field.
At the end of each day, various events were organised by the conference: including a guided walk around Bruges, a tour of the local brewery and a final conference dinner. I enjoyed exploring Bruges and learning more about the history of the ancient town, as well as getting to know some of the other PhD students. I also developed a good taste for Belgium beer, courtesy of a visit to the ‘De Halve Maan’ brewery.
Overall, attending the conference in Bruges was a great experience for me. Not only did I learn more about the general area that I work in, but I also made useful new contacts there as well. I would like to thank the Department of Computing for fully funding my participation at ESANN2014. A beautiful picture of the bell tower in the market square of Bruges at night is found below.